Silly Cooking Mistakes Even The Most Experienced Chefs Make


While no one is expected to be perfect, practice and attention to detail can go a long way. But, getting a little distracted isn’t only a kid-sized problem! Even the most experienced chefs make mistakes in the kitchen. Whether you want to prevent a cooking mistake or are trying to figure out why your recipe has failed, keep the following list in mind the next time you’re cooking. 


1. Incorrect Measurements: 

Why this happens:  Sometimes, depending on the recipe and how familiar you are with it, there’s wiggle room when it comes to how much of each ingredient you use. Certain recipes allow you to get creative and “eyeball” measurements rather than making sure each is perfect. Other times, however, it’s important that ingredients are used in the exact amounts of what’s called for in the recipe (this is usually the case with baking but also common in cooking). 

How to prevent this mistake:  If you’re a beginner and want to play it safe, it’s best to carefully measure out each ingredient for the best results. Once you get more comfortable with a certain recipe, this might not be necessary anymore. 


2. Overcooking and/or Burning Food: 

Why this happens:  We’ve all tried to eat a piece of meat that is too chewy or a slice of bread that’s burnt. If you’ve ever eaten something that’s been overcooked or burnt, you know it’s not too tasty. Overcooking and burning can happen when we turn the heat too high (either in the oven or on the stove), or forget about something we’re cooking. 

How to prevent this mistake:  To avoid this common mistake, make sure to follow the recipe. Pay attention to the recommended cooking temperatures, cooking times, and preparation methods. 


3. Undercooking Food: 

Why this happens:  Sometimes, we get nervous about overcooking the food and take it out of the oven or skillet too quickly. Gross. Noone wants to eat undercooked dough, muffins, or raw meat. Not only does this mistake result in bad tasting food, it can also be really dangerous to our bodies! 

How to prevent this mistake:  The fix for this one is the same as #2. Follow the recipes recommended cooking temperatures, cooking times, and preparation methods.  If you’re baking, check to ensure that the baked good is done before removing it from the oven. You can do this by using a toothpick or looking to see if it’s cooked in the middle of your dish.


4. Poor Flavor Combinations: 

Why this happens:  While it’s fun to get creative and try out new combos, you’ll find that some of them just don’t go well together. For example, we know that peanut butter and jelly are delicious together. But what about peanut butter and ketchup? Ew! 

How to prevent this mistake:  Here are a few ways to figure out which foods and spices match up well: trial and error/taste test, a quick internet search of complimentary flavors, or asking for your parents opinions. 


5. Cooking While Tired/Sleepy: 

Why this happens:  Trying to create a delicious dish while tired or sleepy is just not ideal. It can be sort of dangerous, but also, your final product might not turn out so well. 

How to prevent this mistake:  Cooking is an art, so being alert and focused is key! If you’re tired, but still want to cook, pick something easy to prepare. Save the more complicated recipes for when you’ve rested.


6. Cooking While Distracted: 

Why this happens:  Whether it be homework, the television, or your little brother, distractions are always there. However, when we’re doing something like cooking, it’s important that we do it at a time when we won’t be tempted by these things. 

How to prevent this mistake:  As you’ve already learned, cooking takes focus! For the best outcome (and for safety reasons), give it your best effort to only cook when you can give it your full attention.